[ {"id":"bbc77a71-4c28-5529-9235-7d6cf0fdfd38","type":"article","starttime":"1488180600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-27T01:30:00-06:00","sections":[{"guest":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/guest"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Miller: Do not try Trump's style at home","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/guest/article_bbc77a71-4c28-5529-9235-7d6cf0fdfd38.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/guest/miller-do-not-try-trump-s-style-at-home/article_bbc77a71-4c28-5529-9235-7d6cf0fdfd38.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/guest/miller-do-not-try-trump-s-style-at-home/article_bbc77a71-4c28-5529-9235-7d6cf0fdfd38.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Rich Miller","prologue":"If you're running for office anytime soon, or if you currently hold office or are a \u201cpublic figure,\u201d please try to keep one thing in mind: So far, the only person to prove he can thrive by talking like President Donald Trump is ... President Donald Trump. Trump, and only Trump, can insult a war hero because the man was captured by the enemy, joke about grabbing women by the unmentionables, accuse an opponent's father of participating in a plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and still be elected to the highest office in the land.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["donald trump","politics","campaign","rick rohrer","jb pritzker","bruce rauner","joe favia","candidate"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"dfb05d01-abe0-54ae-bcf6-357756f2eeca","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"229","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/fb/dfb05d01-abe0-54ae-bcf6-357756f2eeca/58546f9d06d40.image.jpg?resize=229%2C300"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"131","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/fb/dfb05d01-abe0-54ae-bcf6-357756f2eeca/58546f9d06d40.image.jpg?resize=100%2C131"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"393","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/fb/dfb05d01-abe0-54ae-bcf6-357756f2eeca/58546f9d06d40.image.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/fb/dfb05d01-abe0-54ae-bcf6-357756f2eeca/58546f9d06d40.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"bbc77a71-4c28-5529-9235-7d6cf0fdfd38","body":"

If you're running for office anytime soon, or if you currently hold office or are a \u201cpublic figure,\u201d please try to keep one thing in mind: So far, the only person to prove he can thrive by talking like President Donald Trump is ... President Donald Trump.

Trump, and only Trump, can insult a war hero because the man was captured by the enemy, joke about grabbing women by the unmentionables, accuse an opponent's father of participating in a plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and still be elected to the highest office in the land.

Heck, Trump may have even been right when he joked during the campaign: \"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.\"

But don't even think of trying this at home. The President's election was not a permission slip allowing everybody to now say the most outrageous things that come to mind. Trump changed the rules last year for himself, not anybody else -- or, at least, not yet.

Say something stupid and the media -- both news and social -- will whack you but good and it won't turn out nearly as well as it did for candidate Trump. Indeed, if anything, the climate right now seems more antithetical than ever to saying silly things in public.

Earlier this month, an unopposed candidate for an Arlington Heights village board spot named Joe Favia had to drop out of his race after posting something truly stupid about women on Facebook. After the national women\u2019s marches in January, he posted a meme that read \"In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.\"

Again, he was an unopposed candidate. You don't usually get a more sure thing in politics than an unopposed campaign. Not for that dude. He's gone.

Danville Township Assessor Rick Rohrer, a Democrat, posted the very same meme to his Facebook page and the chairwoman and treasurer of the Vermillion County Democratic Party were so furious that they both resigned in disgust.

Just last week, the sports anchor for the most-watched television station in Chicagoland, Mark Giangreco, was slapped with a weeks-long suspension for tweeting something stupid about the President and his supporters: \u201cAmerica exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be \u2018elected.\u2019\u201d

Also, have you seen Gov. Bruce Rauner lately? The formerly elbow-throwing, defiant Republican frat jock is now talking like the dearly departed host of \"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.\"

I seriously doubt that Rauner just naturally morphed from a tough guy who has called just about everybody from the judges to the two state legislative leaders to most of the General Assembly \u201ccorrupt,\u201d into a soft-spoken yogi who gently speaks of compromise, peace and harmony.

Rauner\u2019s campaign team has the cash to poll-test and focus group just about everything, and the governor is infamous for relentlessly staying on script. He and his people obviously know things have changed.

So, when probable Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker woke up early one morning last week and, according to an aide, decided to mock the far right's incendiary rhetoric by tweeting, \"As a protest against Trump's rescinding protections for trans kids, everyone should use the other gender's bathroom today! #protecttranskids,\" he should've first taken a deep breath, had another cup of coffee, maybe called a friend or two and then realized he was about to make himself look like just another billionaire who can't control himself on Twitter. Please leave the jokes to the professionals (who, by the way, are regularly put through the public meat grinder for their misfired attempts at humor).

I'm not arguing here for an utterly bland, completely \"politically correct\" public discourse. I'm just arguing for a little common sense and a bit of self awareness. Just because calling some women fat worked for Trump, doesn\u2019t mean it\u2019s gonna work for low-level candidates and elected officials. Insulting millions of Americans and questioning the nation\u2019s electoral system also worked for Trump, but it is a no-go for a TV talking head.

And appearing to urge men to enter women's restrooms as some sort of protest shows exactly zero common sense, no matter what the climate may be right now and no matter how well-intentioned the act may have been.

If you can't do that, then delete your account.

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The Trump administration's move to rescind bathroom access protections for transgender students rests on the idea that school bathroom policies are \"a states' rights issue,\" as White House press secretary Sean Spicer has explained, and that, in any event, it is \"preposterous on its face\" that the authors of the federal law barring sex discrimination in schools imagined it would cover transgender students.

On the states' rights question, the administration is both wrong and offensive. On the issue of what the authors of Title IX contemplated in 1972, it is correct but irrelevant. The issue isn't what the authors intended but what discrimination \"on the basis of sex\" means.

For Gavin Grimm, the 17-year-old high school student whose case is now before the Supreme Court, it means that he is a boy -- he has an amended birth certificate saying so -- who, alone among the boys at his rural Virginia school, is barred from using the boys' room. Tell him that's not discriminating on the basis of sex.

The states' rights argument, redolent of 1960s resistance to civil rights protections for African-Americans is, to repeat Spicer's language, \"preposterous on its face.\" Of course, education is traditionally a state and local issue. But the federal government provides billions of dollars every year to local schools -- and attaches a host of conditions to the receipt of that funding. Among those conditions: that they not discriminate on the basis of sex.

It was the authors of Title IX -- the very legislators whose intentions Spicer is so solicitous of -- who determined that sex discrimination in educational institutions was not a states' rights issue but a matter of federal concern. If treating transgender students differently is discriminating on the basis of sex, the Trump administration's argument is with Title IX itself. Why should a transgender student in Gloucester County, where Grimm lives, be treated differently, and enjoy fewer protections, than a transgender student elsewhere?

So the relevant question remains: Are transgender students protected under Title IX? Here, Spicer is undoubtedly correct that the authors of Title IX didn't have transgender students in mind. That's not the point, nor is it the way that the court interprets statutes. Back in 1972, no one imagined that sexual harassment was a form of sex discrimination. The legal theory didn't exist. That has not stopped the Supreme Court from recognizing that sexual harassment constitutes impermissible discrimination, including under Title IX.

Dismissing legislative intent in interpreting statutory meaning in favor of focusing on the language of the statute itself is not some rogue liberal method of judging -- it's what the late Justice Antonin Scalia advocated. Thus Grimm's lawyers, in their just-filed brief at the Supreme Court, cite Scalia from 1998: \"Statutory prohibitions often go beyond the principal evil to cover reasonably comparable evils, and it is ultimately the provisions of our laws rather than the principal concerns of our legislators by which we are governed.\"

That case involved male-on-male sexual harassment in the workplace, clearly not what the authors of the 1964 Civil Rights Act had in mind when they made it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of sex.

Similarly, as the Justice Department under President Obama argued in a lower court brief in Grimm's case, \"Treating a student differently from other students because his birth-assigned sex diverges from his gender identity constitutes differential treatment on the basis of sex under Title IX.\" Forcing Grimm, and Grimm alone, to use a separate, single-stall restroom, the Justice Department said, \"singles him out in a way that is humiliating and stigmatizing.\"

This, the Trump administration notwithstanding, is not a wacky legal interpretation. The majority of lower courts that have considered the issue have agreed that discriminating against a transgender individual is sex discrimination under federal civil rights laws and the Equal Protection Clause.

The Trump administration is making a big fuss over the Obama administration's decision to express its position through a guidance letter to school districts rather than by passing a new regulation. Don't let that distract you. What really matters is whether transgender students are protected by the law and the Constitution.

On that question, it might help to consider what Gavin Grimm had to tell the Gloucester County School Board when his legal odyssey began three years ago: \"All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace, and I have had no problems from students to do that -- only from adults.\"

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Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 -- Flooding, ice jams the worry now

Much dependent on track of new storm, rain totals

Flooding and dangerous ice jams along area rivers are now the concern as warmer temperatures and rain move into the area today and will continue through Thursday, the National Weather Service, Davenport, said. A flood watch has been issued by the weather service. The Mississippi River is not the worry at this time, said meteorologist Linda Engebretson.

Friday, Feb. 28, 1997 -- Spring flood forecast is grim

Mississippi and Rock rivers might crest above banks

River watchers issued a grim reminder Friday: Flood season is just under way. Some Quad-City area residents are just beginning to assess the damage done by the Rock River during the past week, but the tributary will be making headlines again this spring, bursting over its banks and rising to near record levels, according to a preliminary forecast issued Friday by the National Weather Service.

Sunday, March 1, 1987 -- Lueders considers retiring a winner

Soon after the greatest moment in his career as a high school wrestling coach, Clinton's Bob Lueders admitted he may retire from coaching before next season.

Wednesday, March 2, 1977 -- Davenport Revamps City Hall

An ordinance creating the position of city administrator was approved unanimously by the Davenport City Council Wednesday night after it quashed two proposed amendments. The 10-0 vote on the entire ordinance came without debate. There was also no debate before the two Democrat-proposed amendments were defeated on a 3-7, party-line vote.\u00a0

Friday, March 3, 1967 -- Moline Drops Rock Island

If you are a basketball fan who likes to let off steam and see spine-tingling action, the only answer is to attend a Moline-Rock Island high school game. Of course you have to wait until next year now. Moline's husting Maroons overcame a poor first half shooting exhibition to defeat the Rock Island Rocks 54-45 in the championship game of the regional tournament Friday night at Wharton Field House, Moline.

Monday, March 4, 1957 -- Dog? Cat? Human? No, 'Sniffs' Is Just a Kwazy, Mixed-Up Wabbit

Someone apparently forgot to tell \"Sniffs\" she's a rabbit. Therefore, as it fits her mood, she acts like: 1. A dog 2. A cat 3. A human, and 4. A mixture of all three. \"Sniffs showed promise of being little more than a rabbit when she came into the lives of the Floyd E. Krumbholz family of 2127 W. 2nd St., Davenport, a year ago this Easter.

Wednesday, March 5, 1947 -- Laws 'Aimed at Destruction Of Labor Unions' Blasted by Van Bittner, CIO Executive

Washington -- (AP) -- CIO Vice President Van A. Bittner told congress Wednesday the American people will not \"mildly accept\" laws \"aimed at the destruction of labor unions.\" Declaring that is the purpose of bills which the house labor committee is considering. Bittner contended they are being backed by \"wartime profiteering groups.\"\u00a0

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\u00a0If you've been reading Home & Garden for a few years, you probably remember Stephanie De Pasquale Soebbing, the energetic young reporter who wrote a popular column called \"Home Rookies.\"

About every week,\u00a0she described the challenges and joys she and\u00a0her husband encountered in\u00a0tackling fixup projects in their newly purchased home \u2014 refinishing\u00a0kitchen cabinets, painting\u00a0windows,\u00a0installing new floors.

Well!

In the five years since she left the Times, Stephanie has continued her energetic ways, pursuing her\u00a0personal interest in quilting to the point that it's become a fulltime business, and\u00a0she is\u00a0beginning to make a name for herself\u00a0 nationwide.

Last month\u00a0she opened a quilt store called QuiltAddictsAnonymous \u2014 the same name as her long-standing blog \u2014 at the corner of 30th Street and 13th Avenue in Rock Island. This is in the interesting College Hill District\u00a0I discovered some years ago, with antique shops and the Cool Beanz Coffeehouse. Her store most recently was home to\u00a0Oh Nuts!

A grand opening\u00a0will be Saturday-Sunday, March 4-5, with classes by Tracy Trevethan, a Twin Cities area quilter known for her vibrant, hand-dyed wool fabrics.

But the store isn't the half of it.

A perhaps more significant accomplishment is that\u00a0Stephanie\u00a0designs her own original patterns that, in October, were picked up by three major distributors who will market them to quilt shops all over the country. She also has a\u00a0partnership with two major fabric companies \u2014 Northcott Fabrics, based in Canada, and Clothworks, based in Washington \u2014\u00a0in which she creates patterns using their\u00a0fabric.

In addition, she produces a weekly\u00a0Sit & Sew pod cast in which she interviews quilters and uploads the interviews to YouTube where it can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. This gets her name and patterns out in the quilting public.

She also continues her blog that contains\u00a0self-produced video tutorials of how to make a specific quilt.

And she has a quilt book deal in the works!

\"It has just exploded!\" she said of her business,\u00a0as I visited her last week at her shop.

How she got to this point

While 3-year-old daughter Angela roamed around the store with its shelves of fabrics, patterns and\u00a0quilting supplies, Stephanie took a deep breath and recounted some of the touchstones that\u00a0got her to where she is today.

The Augustana College graduate\u00a0certainly didn't expect to establish a full-time quilt business when she left the Times. At that point she still figured to work fulltime in\u00a0marketing, with a specialty\u00a0in\u00a0social media and web content.

Teaching\u00a0quilt classes\u00a0at CommUniversity and at a shop in\u00a0Muscatine, using patterns she had designed herself, was just a fun hobby.

But it also\u00a0involved\u00a0a lot of work for a minimal number of\u00a0students, so she decided to put one of her patterns on her blog to see what would happen.

\"I thought maybe I'd get 50\" people to download the pattern, she said. \"By the end of the first year, 12,000 people had downloaded.\"

Twelve thousand. Humm. Maybe she was onto something.

At that point she still wasn't making any money on quilting because the downloads were free, and she was using scraps she had around her home to make the designs to save money.

Taking a chance, she contacted Moda Fabrics, based in Texas, asking if the company would supply fabric for her next design. That would save her money and Moda would make sales. They agreed, and next came a pattern called Kaleidoscope that was her break-through design.

\"This is the one that put me in the big time,\" she said, holding the 36-page instruction book. (An aside: Kaleidoscope is featured on the back of this month's issue of McCall's Quilting.)

A eureka moment

In early 2015, just as she was beginning to make money from\u00a0quilting, she\u00a0was laid off from her communications job. She spent the next six months doing freelance marketing and\u00a0quilting, then\u00a0returned to\u00a0\"work\" one more time in late 2015.

But\u00a0the work plus\u00a0quilting became an impossible grind in which there was \"zero quality time\" with Angela, she said.

About this\u00a0same period\u00a0she attended an\u00a0industry trade show in Salt Lake City, and realized that \"there's this whole industry where distributors will buy patterns and sell to print shops.\"

It was a eureka moment and gave her a goal.

In June 2016, after a lot of talk\u00a0and soul-searching with her husband Adam Soebbing, Quad-City Times Sports Editor, she quit her day job for quilting.

\"I have not looked back,\" she said.

Distributors sign her up

Now that she understood more about the business and the necessity of marketing\u00a0yourself at trade shows, she made a goal of having a half-dozen original quilts and patterns ready to show at an October 2016 show in Houston.

And that, she said,\u00a0\"changed everything.\"

To prepare, she sewed six original-design quilts (including two king-sized) in two months\u00a0and created the patterns.\u00a0The result was that\u00a0she picked up the three distributors.

Stephanie specializes in modern quilts, characterized by asymmetrical designs and use of negative space, black or white.

I looked at the examples hanging on the wall in her shop. They\u00a0had lots of angles and, to me,\u00a0looked complicated and difficult\u00a0to get right.

She says that's not so.\u00a0\"They look like you put a lot of time and effort into it but, really, you could do it in a weekend.\"

She had several motives for opening the store, including getting all the quilting stuff out of their home.\u00a0\"My only goal was that it was to pay for itself, and it's done that since day one,\" she said.

After a pause, \"I can't wait to see where it goes,\" she added.

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It's about ticking off the boxes.

There's a checklist whenever a single party takes total control of a state. For liberals, it's about expanding the social safety net and, too often, bowing to organized labor.\u00a0

In Republican-run states, uniform policy on schools, voting rights, women's health care access and local government authority is legislated and adopted in statehouses from South Carolina to Utah.

It's not without irony coming from a party that vocally opposes one-size-fits-all policy. Instead of the federal government, it's big-money lobbyists, corporations and right-wing activists that are writing laws and dictating policy. The near word-for-word nature of the bills shouldn't be a surprise. In many cases, stock bills are drafted at meetings organized by groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council.\u00a0

The ultimate goal is two-fold: Reduce taxes and push a conservative social agenda. Some of the movement's earliest adopters are having buyer's remorse. Kansas' Republican-run Legislature is pushing back against Gov. Sam Brownback's far-right agenda, which has bled that state dry. Lawmakers there are pushing a tax hike to pay for the schools and roads that were left to rot, thanks to Brownback's dogma.\u00a0

Now, Iowa is one of 25 states where the GOP wields total control. And the Republican checklist is most definitely in play.\u00a0

Loosen gun laws

\"Gun\"
Gun

\u2022\u00a0Where it stands: In progress

This is guaranteed whenever the GOP seizes a statehouse. The gun lobby won't accept any less.\u00a0

Iowa law already protects the use of force against someone threatening life, home or property. But, apparently, that's not good enough for the gun lobby.

Surprise, surprise, an omnibus gun package, which, of course, includes a \"stand-your-ground\" provision, is on the docket in the Iowa Legislature as of last week.

This type of legislation makes using deadly force far too easy. It's a sure-fire way to see situations escalate unnecessarily. It's policy built on ideology instead of need.\u00a0

Suppress education funding

\u2022 Where it stands: In progress

Both houses of the Iowa Legislature have approved a 1.1 percent boost to public school funding for next year, equating to $40 million. They claim it's an \"increase,\" but that's bogus when inflation is considered.

In the real world, the school funding levels now under consideration in Iowa would amount to a cut.

Years-worth of neglect is taking its toll on the state's vaunted higher education. Almost 2,500 University of Iowa students will not receive previously promised scholarships, school officials announced last week. The $4.3 million cut to student assistance comes on top of tuition hikes. University administrators blame an $8 million cut in its funding for this coming year.

It's all because lawmakers won't pony up.

On the plus side, there seems to be a long-term fix for the inequity inherent in Iowa's formula for public school districts. It's an issue on which Davenport Superintendent Art Tate has staked his career. State Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, has offered promising legislation that would patch the inequity problem while the long-term fix rolls out over the next decade.

Cut taxes

\u2022 Where it stands: Stalled

Rumbles about another tax cut early in the session were quickly silenced as lawmakers faced a $100 million shortfall before even entering the chamber. Gov. Terry Branstad made clear that he wouldn't support another tax cut.

And that's a good thing. The last round of cuts have done enough damage. Simply reference the \"suppress education funding\" for evidence.\u00a0

Centralize power

\"Minimum
Minimum wage

\u2022\u00a0Where it stands: In progress

Supervisors in four Iowa counties last year voted to hike the minimum wage. Oh, no. That power must be concentrated in Des Moines, lawmakers concluded.

The proposed bill on this issue does two things: It strips local governments of the power to hike wages, and it maintains the current $7.25 hourly rate.

There's a rational economic argument against a patchwork of wages throughout the state. But clearly, the growing movement among county governments is aimed at the state's refusal to budge from an out-of-date hourly wage that hasn't moved in years.\u00a0

But that's not all. Another piece of legislation \u2014\u00a0offered by a group associated with the Iowa Farm Bureau \u2014\u00a0looks to blame the messenger instead of actually grappling with tainted rivers and creeks.\u00a0

The bill would would dissolve Des Moines' water utility and establish a regional one. The proposal is in direct response to Des Moines Water Works' federal lawsuit challenging three northwest Iowa counties that fail to regulate the incredible amount of nutrients flowing from farm fields.

Last year, Branstad and lawmakers kicked around a few ideas for grappling with water quality. None was fantastic, but at the very least, they acknowledged the problem exists. This year's iteration probably won't do much to actually address the problem.

Lawmakers and the Farm Bureau would rather act as if water quality concerns are unfounded and punish Des Moines for daring to question Iowa's commitment to clean water.\u00a0

Make voting more difficult

\u2022 Where it stands:\u00a0In progress

Secretary of State Paul Pate's voter ID bill is making progress in committee.

Pate's supporters claim that Iowa's voting system is rife with holes that could be welcoming voter fraud. Yet repeated attempts to uncover fraud in the past were unsuccessful, making that portion of the legislation indefensible. That's too bad, too, because much in Pate's bill has merit. No one is criticizing his calls for new technology and post-election audits. \u00a0

What is true is that Voter ID laws do suppress poor, elderly and minority voters.

Defund Planned Parenthood

\"Planned
Planned Parenthood

\u2022\u00a0Where it stands: In progress

Not a dime of state or federal funding pays for abortions. But lawmakers' falling back to this go-to social issue was predictable the moment the GOP won total control on Nov. 8.

Fact is, similar moves in other states have been a bit of a dumpster fire. Ask the thousands of women without access to adequate health care if you would like.

Just last week, a federal judge in Texas denied the state's request to lift an injunction on its ban on paying Planned Parenthood with Medicaid funds. Iowa is likely on a similar course, spending money it doesn't have on a law that helps no one.

But hey, it plays well with the base, right?

Erode public employee unions

\"Bargaining\"
Bargaining

\u2022\u00a0Where it stands: Done deal

The recent changes to Iowa's collective bargaining law were a big victory conservatives, modeled after similar moves in Wisconsin and Michigan. The Quad-City Times editorial board eventually backed it because it's bound to save taxpayers cash, particularly on health care spending.\u00a0

Make no mistake, though. This, too, is yet another erosion of local control.\u00a0

Dabble in the absurd

\u2022 Where it stands: \u00a0Kicking around

Few represent a total misunderstanding of and disrespect for academic freedom than state Sen.\u00a0Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa.

Chelgren's half-baked bill could be cribbed from Joe McCarthy's playbook. In essence, it would require universities to hire faculty based on affiliation\u00a0to a political party, allegedly for parity sake. You know, those liberal professors and so forth.\u00a0

Ugh.

Where do we begin. Well, how would this work? So voter registration\u00a0would suddenly be part of the interview process. That's probably illegal, but go on. And what's keeping a bunch of professors at University of Iowa from simply walking to the county auditor's office and changing their registration? The bill would permit professors to register \"no party\" and avoid the culling list. In so doing, it would essentially\u00a0lock them out of the caucus process, which is probably part of Chelgren's aim here.\u00a0

There's another practical problem here. It's relatively easy to find conservative economists and probably business faculty, too. But good luck finding a Republican anthropologist or sculptor. Some fields of study are simply based in ideas such as cultural\u00a0relativism. They generally reject moral\u00a0realism. And, as such, don't tend to support guys like Chelgren.

"}, {"id":"75aaaa52-3f88-5707-8963-5c597d5ad76d","type":"article","starttime":"1488095100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-26T01:45:00-06:00","sections":[{"autumn-phillips":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/autumn-phillips"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Phillips: The power of a small group and a glass of wine","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/autumn-phillips/article_75aaaa52-3f88-5707-8963-5c597d5ad76d.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/autumn-phillips/phillips-the-power-of-a-small-group-and-a-glass/article_75aaaa52-3f88-5707-8963-5c597d5ad76d.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/autumn-phillips/phillips-the-power-of-a-small-group-and-a-glass/article_75aaaa52-3f88-5707-8963-5c597d5ad76d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Autumn Phillips\nExecutive Editor","prologue":"Somewhere toward the end of our conversation, one that lasted close to three hours, Mary Curran said the reason she had invited me to meet was to show me that \u201ca small group can be a strong force.\u201d We were at the Wide River Winery in the Village of East Davenport. I\u2019d been invited to sit in on a meeting of the \u201cWhine and Wine Club,\u201d a group of entrepreneurs and friends who meet once a month to talk about life and business. They give each other advice on everything from navigating the latest regulations to dealing with the emotional pressures of having dozens of people depend on you for their livelihood.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["mary curran","politics","company","bob hickman","cliff","business","bill hayes","conversation","tax code"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"fa0afc1f-8444-57ce-9bf3-79de1c2b899d","description":"Autumn Phillips","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"400","height":"475","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a0/fa0afc1f-8444-57ce-9bf3-79de1c2b899d/572d04708fc15.image.jpg?resize=400%2C475"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"118","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a0/fa0afc1f-8444-57ce-9bf3-79de1c2b899d/5638029f97c42.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"356","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a0/fa0afc1f-8444-57ce-9bf3-79de1c2b899d/572d04708fc15.image.jpg?resize=300%2C356"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1216","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/a0/fa0afc1f-8444-57ce-9bf3-79de1c2b899d/572d04708fc15.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"75aaaa52-3f88-5707-8963-5c597d5ad76d","body":"

Somewhere toward the end of our conversation, one that lasted close to three hours, Mary Curran said the reason she had invited me to meet was to show me that \u201ca small group can be a strong force.\u201d

We were at the Wide River Winery in the Village of East Davenport. I\u2019d been invited to sit in on a meeting of the \u201cWhine and Wine Club,\u201d a group of entrepreneurs and friends who meet once a month to talk about life and business. They give each other advice on everything from navigating the latest regulations to dealing with the emotional pressures of having dozens of people depend on you for their livelihood.

\u201cWhat I love about this group is that if there\u2019s an emergency, you can call and they\u2019ll be there,\u201d Curran said.

Around the table that afternoon was Curran, owner of Straight Shot Express, and Straight Shot Express territory VP Bill Hayes. And there was Bob Hickman, Chenhall\u2019s Staffing and HR Network, and Beth White, a Government Contracting specialist with Iowa State University, Center for Industrial Research and Service.

They had the ease of a close group of friends, slipping quickly into their roles. White is the youngest at 40 and the entire evening they kept their eye on her, playing by turns the roles of mentor and friend. Hayes plays the comedian, filling any silence with a joke and his laughter. Curran is the anchor, the life and glue of the group, and Hickman is the man whose career took him to every corner of the country and cast his social network wide enough that is seemed there wasn\u2019t anyone in the Quad-Cities he didn\u2019t know.

The atmosphere was light-hearted, but the issues we discussed were not. They talked about the risk of owning a business and the freedom and the weight of it.

\u201cMost entrepreneurs start a business after something dramatic happens,\u201d Hickman said. There\u2019s a sudden shift and a rethinking of priorities, he said, and that leads to a willingness to take the risk and pour everything, day and night, into starting something of your own.

That\u2019s what happened to Mary. She spent most of her career in advertising and marketing and decided she was ready to \u201cjump off the cliff\u201d after beating breast cancer, diagnosed in 1999 when she was 48. The \u201ccliff\u201d came in the form of an opportunity to start a trucking company franchise in the Quad-Cities. Straight Shot Express has a fleet of \u201c50 vehicles of various sizes,\u201d Hayes said.

\u201cIn the beginning, it was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,\u201d Curran said.

They invited me to chat as part of my \u201cWhat They Don\u2019t Know About Us\u201d series of columns about the people in our part of the world, what they believe and what in life brought them there. We talked about politics, but by the time I stood up three hours later, I couldn\u2019t tell you who they voted for. I could only tell you that they stopped believing the government had any answers a long time ago.

\u201cI\u2019m still waiting,\u201d Curran said. \u201cI\u2019ve heard candidates make a lot of promises to help small businesses. We have a lot of hope, but I haven\u2019t heard the solution yet.\u201d

Current tax code seems to disincentivize growth by taxing any business over 50 employees the same, she said. \u201cThere\u2019s no impetus to grow, because you\u2019re penalized. It\u2019s a disservice to people to scratched and crawled their way to success.\u201d

And she used an example of a federal small business loan program she heard about during the last administration that her trucking company could have qualified for, but she gave up on the idea after visiting three banks who said they didn\u2019t offer it. It was fodder for a great speech, but not something that was easily available in the real world.

After a while, the conversation steered away from tax code and business logistics and on to the other things that make life full, like music \u2013 Bob plays the piano and Mary is an opera singer \u2013 and mentoring. As a Cherokee from Oklahoma, Bob has steered some of his success toward the tribes in his home state, making sure young Native Americas have opportunities and know someone is watching out for them.

I put my pen down and just listened.

"}, {"id":"f55130eb-d87b-53cd-9751-39fa01a71771","type":"article","starttime":"1488094200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-26T01:30:00-06:00","sections":[{"erin-murphy":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/erin-murphy"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Murphy: What does the backlash mean?","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/erin-murphy/article_f55130eb-d87b-53cd-9751-39fa01a71771.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/erin-murphy/murphy-what-does-the-backlash-mean/article_f55130eb-d87b-53cd-9751-39fa01a71771.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/erin-murphy/murphy-what-does-the-backlash-mean/article_f55130eb-d87b-53cd-9751-39fa01a71771.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Erin Murphy","prologue":"When given the chance, residents in Iowa and across the country the past few weeks have been giving their state and federal elected officials a vociferous tongue-lashing. Town hall meetings between state and federal lawmakers and their constituents have become animated events, with far more people attending and far more angry shouting than has been seen at such events since the early days of the tea party movement in 2009.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["republicans","politics","institutes","democrats","joni ernst","tea party","town hall","chuck grassley","statehouse"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537","description":"Erin Murphy","byline":"","hireswidth":2000,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/69/e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537/540d228749b7c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/69/e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537/587920e648ca6.image.jpg?resize=413%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/69/e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537/540d228756f25.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/69/e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537/587920e648ca6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1535","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/69/e697f14a-22ae-5002-8064-d49ad58ef537/587920e648ca6.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"f55130eb-d87b-53cd-9751-39fa01a71771","body":"

When given the chance, residents in Iowa and across the country the past few weeks have been giving their state and federal elected officials a vociferous tongue-lashing.

Town hall meetings between state and federal lawmakers and their constituents have become animated events, with far more people attending and far more angry shouting than has been seen at such events since the early days of the tea party movement in 2009.

This time Republicans are facing the public backlash.

The GOP enjoys widespread power nationally, with control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, 33 governors, and full control of state legislatures in 32 states.

Iowa is one of 25 states that is under complete Republican control, with a GOP governor and majorities in both chambers of the state capitol.

As Republicans with unfettered control both nationally and locally implement conservative policies, they are hearing some strong opposition from many of their constituents at town hall events that have become increasingly raucous.

Iowa\u2019s two Republican U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst experienced the swell of displeasure at public events back home the past two weeks while Congress was in recess. Republican U.S. House member David Young also felt some heat.

Iowa\u2019s statehouse Republicans also have been given an earful in their districts after passing legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and limit public employees\u2019 collective bargaining rights.

What Republicans --- both state and federal --- must be wondering, at least in part, is what this means the next time their name is on the ballot.

It is inarguable that the crowds at the town hall events in 2017 have been bigger and angrier than they have been since those early tea party days.

What remains to be seen is whether those people who are showing up to express themselves --- in some cases literally yelling at their elected official --- are people who would have voted against those Republicans anyway, or if the GOP is losing voters.

Some Republicans have said they believe many of the people attending the town halls have come only because of organizing efforts by Democrats and liberal advocacy organizations. Those have played a role, to be sure, but it would seem a bit reckless for Republicans to completely dismiss the anger being expressed at these events.

Still, even if the crowds are an honest representation of the greater public\u2019s sentiment, there is no guarantee that will make a difference in the next election --- which, it bears noting, is still more than 20 months away.

For argument\u2019s sake, let\u2019s say these crowds are giving an indication that Republicans are facing at least some measure of backlash. Even if that\u2019s true, there is no way to predict the electoral impact this far out.

What we do know is that Grassley and Ernst are in a better position to weather this storm than many of their GOP colleagues. Ernst will not be on the ballot again until 2020, when there also will be a presidential race. And Grassley was just re-elected to another six-year term; he won\u2019t face re-election until 2022, and at that point he will be 89 years old.

Even some statehouse Republicans have a little built-in insulation. The wave of new Republican state senators that helped flip control of that chamber in this past year\u2019s election will not face re-election until 2020.

The rest of the statehouse and U.S. House members will, however, be on the ballot in 2018, as will the Iowa governor\u2019s office.

For the time being, many people are upset. Democrats are sure to remind voters of that and re-litigate all these issues during next year\u2019s campaign.

But that\u2019s a long ways off.

For Republicans, the questions are to what extent this backlash is real and sustainable.

For Democrats, the question is whether they can turn this passion into votes.

Democrats, ironically, will hang their hopes on a repeat of that tea party movement, which in hindsight foretold a massive Republican wave election in 2010. Democrats will hope for the same --- in reverse --- eight years later.

Republicans will hope the crowd\u2019s bark is worse than its bite, and that over the next 20 months that anger subsides.

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